It’s the season for the Silk Cotton tree to bloom and this is the sight that greets you, all across the countryside. The big, bright red blooms draw one’s attention and the huge trees are a haven for numerous birds. To read up the details on the tree, here’s the Wiki link http://en wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombax
A Datura/Thorn Apple bloom in the wild in the park area. What a deep, rich purple. Pictured below are the fruit. Some of the dry ones have burst and the seeds can be seen.
The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is about 2 hour’s drive from Guwahati. The place was declared a Sanctuary in 1971 in order to protect the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Now it is known for the highest density of the one-horned rhinoceros in the world. It also has its unique wetland eco-system. These wetlands are the nesting grounds for migratory and indigenous water birds.
In the month of January, the landscape is dominated by cleome blooms in a bright shade of pink. And many butterflies! But during this season it is dry and dusty. But there’s a kind of charm in every season. One look at the blooms of the Silk Cotton tree and the dust is momentarily forgotten!! Pictured below is the ‘face’ of the datura. The bloom is a beautiful mix of white and purple.
Ducks in the water body known as ‘beel’ inside the park. ‘Beels’ are generally formed by inundation of low-lying lands during flooding. They may also be created during the rainy season, especially during the monsoon season. These water bodies are of great biological and environmental significance.
I don’t recognize the tiny bird (above) but the one below looks like the Indian Roller. I have never seen or photographed this bird before. That blue was most striking!
A pond heron on another water body. There were many aquatic birds in the area.
Wild grass and Bush Morning Glory thrive. It doesn’t look as if there’s any sign of life here. But the sanctuary guards showed me how pythons blend into these surroundings. Guided by them, I got a few shots of two pythons (not fully grown) all coiled up on a clump of grass and the criss-cross of roots and stems of the Bush Morning Glory.
I’d never have guessed! In this dry season I thought snakes were rarely seen. Now I know.
Egrets galore! The sanctuary is only 38.8 square kms. But it is a haven for birds. In winter, thousands of migratory birds come here. The other animals found here are the Asiatic buffalo, leopard, wild bear, monkeys, civet and various reptiles.